What to Get Rid Of When Moving

You’ve made the tough decision to move.  

Part of your decision may come from looking around your present residence and feeling there’s just too much stuff. Before you pack box one, you have a process ahead.  You need to determine what to get rid of when moving. 

The question of what to purge is an important one. By minimizing your belongings before your move, you will decrease your gross weight of the things you’re moving. By purging before your move and decreasing the overall weight, you will end up with a lower moving cost.  It will also feel like a fresh beginning with an opportunity to make new decisions and new choices. 

There are many factors that determine what you should get rid of and what you should keep as you pack up your house and prepare to move. But, by being fearlessly honest, you will determine a variety of household items that you truly know that you should either purge or repurpose. 

1. Ancient Magazines – If you have magazines or catalog subscriptions, you have a pile of them lying around your house. Throw them away! Get rid of all magazines, except for current ones (less than three months). You can donate your magazines to children’s centers, libraries, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, or nail salons. 

2. Clothing and Shoes You Just Don’t Wear – Marie Kondo is famous for telling us to look at items and ask ourselves, “Does it bring me joy?” Another way to say it is “Would I buy this again today?” If your answer is ‘No’ then don’t keep it. This is one good way to eliminate clutter before you move. This especially applies to all those items that no longer fit.  Is that dress, suit, pair of jeans in your back of your closet actually something that you may wear someday? Consider donating it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or a local women’s shelter, give it to a friend or sell online. Just because you spent money on it back in the day doesn’t mean you have to hang on to it forever. 

3. So Many Food Storage Containers – We all have a cupboard full of plastic storage containers dedicated to leftovers. Can you ever find the lids to all of them??  Packing all of these is going to take time and often don’t get unpacked any way. Go through your collection and be brutal. Purge them before you move. Consider going green and replace them with reusable glass containers!

4. Old Furniture, Mattresses and Rugs – Here’s your best place to save money with your move. Big, heavy items can take up a lot of space in your moving truck or cause added expense to move because of the weight. And remember added weight equals added cost. A move is truly a great chance to start fresh. Look into having Habitat for Humanity pick up your furniture from your house, or host a garage sale to sell those belongings that are still in good condition.

5. Older Electronic Hardware – Anything electronic, even old cell phones can be purged from your belongings. If they are in good working condition and less than 5 years old, you may even be able to donate them to charity. Try Habitat for Humanity or a charity called Cell Phones For Soldiers. It gives our troops the ability to call home. You’ll probably want a new phone if yours breaks. 

6. Outdated Media Formats – These items include VHS tapes, Cassette tapes, and 8 Tracks. These are all no-brainers. Even DVDs, CDs, and video games will be outdated for the kids. Did you know there are many people on the internet who collect them and would love to purchase these items? Sell them and make a little money to help with your move. As you get rid of more stuff before your move, you make a little money and save a little money.

7. Plates, Cups, and Mugs – You swing open your kitchen cabinet and reach for a cup or mug to pour yourself your morning coffee. That’s when you realize you have a mug from almost every place you’ve visited and many others that you haven’t. They probably don’t match and many are either chipped or faded. As part of purging before your move, get rid of them. Start over in your new home with nice new kitchenware that matches! And, getting rid of mismatched dishes also means fewer boxes, less packing supplies, and a far simpler move. 

8. Sheets, Towels and Linens – Do you have old, faded, worn, or mismatched linens that no longer have a use and you really don’t like?  If they aren’t your best sheets or your guest sheets, donate them. Animal shelters love to get old sheets! And giving to a shelter always makes you feel good. 

9. The “Fixer-Upper” Than Never Got Fully Fixed-up – You bought an old piece of furniture or machinery at a garage sale a couple of years ago, fully intending to sand it, prime it, paint it, and make it look like new again. Of course, the day after you got it home, it went into the basement or garage and it’s been hiding there ever since. Start to fix it up today or else – get rid of it. Give yourself a deadline!

10. Unread or Ignored Books – This is a hard one for many people. Books have wisdom and value to them. But here’s the thing: books also make for heavy boxes. Heavy boxes sharply drive up your price of an interstate or long-distance move. If you decide to keep all those books, full-service packing will cost even more!  How many books do you have on your shelves that will never be read or never read again?  Be honest – probably quite a few. Go through them today and donate them, so that someone else can get all the wisdom and enjoyment from them. 


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